Think kindergarten is just a place where little people learn when paste-eating is appropriate? Think again. To a certain subset of neurotic New York City parents, getting your kid into the right kindergarten is of paramount importance — because it’s the first step toward eventually winning admission to Harvard. Though the absurdity of Manhattan’s cutthroat admissions process has been covered before in both novels and a documentary, it hasn’t taken center stage in a major movie … until now.
The Best and the Brightest stars Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville as a nice couple who just want to secure a spot for their 5-year-old at a fancy prep school. When a “kindergarten consultant” (Amy Sedaris, who makes everything better just by showing up) suggests that they try to get an edge over their competition by playing up Harris’s past as an amateur poet, Harris agrees — then somehow shows the school’s headmistress a transcript of a pal’s dirty IM conversation instead of his poem. But because this is a comedy, the teacher thinks Harris’s “piece” — which includes lines like “where’s my big man with the meat locker of love” — is actually a brilliant piece of postmodern poetry.
The movie looks fun, if predictable, mostly because of its incredibly appealing cast; John Hodgman also shows up as someone who “actually studied poetry at Barnard” (a feat, since that’s an all-women’s college). Watch the trailer below, then tell us: Do you think NPH has what it takes to carry a movie, especially when he’s playing the hapless lead rather than the over-the-top sidekick?